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10 Boating "Mythsunderstandings"

10 Boating "Mythsunderstandings"

There are two types of people in this world; those who boat and those who do not. Since boating is relaxing and pretty much the best pastime out there, why doesn’t everyone do it? It’s my belief there are some common misunderstandings that scare many people off. It’s not just inexperienced people that fall victim to this. There are also myths out there that veteran boaters fall victim to. Let’s take a closer look


1.) Myth: Boating is a costly habit

If you’re taking the time to read this, you probably fall into one of two groups. You are interested in buying a boat or you already own one. If you are a proud boat owner, you know that boating can be expensive but not as bad as some people think. Recreation costs money. But when you stop to consider it, it really falls in line with other hobbies. While the initial startup may be a little intimidating, you can finance a boat over a decade to keep the payments low. A steady income and some good financial managing can get you on the water before you know it. Bottom line, this myth is neither true nor false, but both. A stable income is more than enough to get you into your first boat, but it's not advisable to take any risks if your money flow is more of a trickle than a steady stream.

Fact or Fiction: Fiction (but be sensible)


2.) Myth: Boating takes up too much time

Gathering gear, preparing food, getting the kids dressed and driving to the lake is going to take time. But once you get into a routine, things get so much faster and it becomes less labor intensive. If you trailer the boat to the dock, it's really as simple as hooking the boat to the trailer hitch and navigating the trip to your lake of choice. The only step left is to lower your boat down the ramp and presto, your work is done. For boaters who rent a slip or own lakefront property, there's really no work to do at all. Maybe you shouldn’t try and do it every morning before an 8 a.m. workday, but as far as boating being time-consuming, this myth is just wrong.

Fact or Fiction: Fiction


3.) Myth: You have to invest in a ton of spare parts

It never hurts to be prepared for worst case scenarios, but try to be a little conservative on what you buy in advance and store onboard. Carrying spare parts for potential repairs is a common practice, but loading up on everything you could possibly need will undoubtedly weigh the boat down and hinder its performance. Never hesitate to take what's necessary with you like a good multi-tool, but be careful not to pack an entire spare boat onboard.

Fact or Fiction: Fiction


4.) Myth: There isn’t a boat that can do everything

The pontoon market is HOT right now and there’s a good reason. It’s a boat that can do a lot of different things. I often hear the rumor a pontoon boat doesn't have the speed and maneuverability to tow tubes, wakeboards or skiers, which is not true. I’ve seen a pontoon do all of these things with my own eyes. Performance pontoons have been specifically engineered to provide boaters fast, responsive power, as well as the luxury and spacious room of a pontoon, and can easily tow any wake boarder for a fast-paced thrill on the water. So if you're looking for a fast, maneuverable boat, pontoons are deceptively powerful and will surely please even the toughest critic.

Fact or Fiction: Fiction


5.) Myth: Ocean weather is more dangerous

Because lakes and rivers are smaller bodies of water, there is a train of thought that they are less dangerous. Don't be fooled! Always practice good safety habits on every type of water. Dangerous weather happens all over the globe, and although you won't find a hurricane on the lake, you can still find yourself in some serious situations at the blink of an eye. On a river, strong winds can push a boat into any number of hidden hazards. Weather can be just as rough on the lakes and rivers as it is on the ocean, so remain vigilant and take the necessary precautions needed for any weather condition you may face.

Fact or Fiction: Fiction


6.) Myth: I have an iPhone and other technology. I’m good

There’s a lot of good boating technology out there these days, which is wonderful for the industry. If you have a smart phone, you probably have a few boating apps for weather, emergency information and other situations. Radar, GPS and warning systems have been designed to make waters more navigable and help keep boaters safe, but that doesn't make water travel foolproof. There's a reason boating accidents still occur. Some people have the misguided notion that the boat will take care of everything for them. As the captain, you need to operate it with common sense to keep the boat and all of its passengers safe. Have the technology but understand the basics in case your gadgets become unusable.  

Fact or Fiction: Fiction


7.) Myth: Markers are more of a guideline than a law

Aids to navigation are integral to the boating experience and must be followed to maintain safety on the water. There's the old saying, “Rules were written in blood.” Be thankful that blood wasn't yours and follow all water markers to the letter. No exceptions. Also, if you find a marker that you've never seen before, be sure to reference the U.S. Coast Guard's marker identifier list and learn what you’re looking at.

Fact or Fiction: Fiction


8.) Myth: More propeller blades will make my boat faster

More propeller blades on your boat will add more speed just like more tires will make your truck faster. Oh wait, no. That’s not how it works. The fact is, more propeller blades help reduce vibrations felt as the propeller spins in the water. Each blade makes water move more evenly through the propeller, thus reducing the intensity of vibrations and making the ride more comfortable. For increased speed, you need a bigger engine.

Fact or Fiction: Fiction


9.) Myth: Naming your boat

Anyone who's spent enough time on the water will hear about the “proper” ceremony to naming a boat and how not taking the time to perform the ceremony will lead to angering Neptune, which can lead to inclement weather, shipwreck or anything in between. Maybe people jump into the belief because of the excitement of becoming a boater and feeling like a part of the team. Maybe they have firm beliefs in the existence of Neptune. Whichever the case, you can find any number of ceremony rituals for properly naming a boat and the people who strictly adhere to them. So is this a tried and true practice? No one can really say. If you ask a believer, of course it is, but your standard run-of-the-mill skeptic is sure to give you a different take on it. In fact, some people don't even name their boat. It may be hard to believe, but they're out there. That may be tempting fate, or Neptune, but who can really say?

Fact or Fiction: Unknown


10.) Myth: Boating on certain days

As a boater, you're bound to run into someone who firmly believes that being on the water on certain days of the year are a big no-no. Some unacceptable days of the year are rooted in religious beliefs, while other days may be from coincidence. Maybe the sailor you talked to just happened to run into bad weather on his Saturday trips, so obviously there's some bad luck tied to that. Are they mistaken? Well, who knows?

Fact or Fiction: Unknown



Article written by Katie Burke


Katie Burke is the Editor of Houseboat Magazine and the Assistant Editor of Pontoon & Deckboat Magazine




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